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Michchhami Dukkadam - The Meaning

Published: 10.09.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

What does "Michchhami Dukkadam" mean?

Michchhami means, “to be fruitless (forgiven)” and Dukkadam (Dushkrut) means “ bad deeds”.

Therefore the meaning of Michchhami Dukkadam is:

"My bad deeds (with you) be fruitless".

So concept behind saying or writing someone "Michchhami Dukkadam" is that

If I have done any harm to you then those bad deeds to be forgiven (to be fruitless).

Those who did traditional Samvatsari (yearly) Pratikraman would remember saying " Tassa Michchhami Dukkadam " at the end of many of sutras.
There it meant that if I have committed any violations or transgressions related to those minor vows or so then those violations be forgiven (be fruitless).

The following is the prayer we say while doing Pratikraman:


What do we mean when we “ Michchhami Dukkadam"?

"I forgive (from the bottom of my heart without any reservation) all living beings (who may have caused me any pain and suffering either in this life or previous lives), and I beg (again from the bottom of my heart without any reservation) for the forgiveness from all living beings (no matter how small or big to whom I may have caused pain and suffering in this life or previous lives, knowingly or unknowingly, mentally, verbally or physically, or if I have asked or encouraged someone else to carry out such activities). (Let all creatures know that) I have a friendship with everybody and I have no revenge (animosity or enmity) toward anybody."

Why do we say "Michchhami Dukkadam"?

If we reflect back on ourselves we would realize that our mind and are continuously busy either thinking on something which may be near to us or could even be as far away as the other end of the world, talking or doing physical activities. This thinking, our words or our physical activities would be reflection of our happiness, sorrow, anger, greed, jealousy, and egoism, etc. And, depending upon how we react to those, we attract various types of new karmas to our souls. No prudent person would like to attract bad karma and at certain stages any karma at all. It is not as easy as turning off a light switch but we have a choice to minimize our damage so that things would be more conducive for our social and spiritual uplift which should ultimately lead to salvation or liberation from this worldly life of any kind.

Buzzword is "minimizing the damage to our soul". Jinas had explained that along with other karmas we should be careful that the bondage of Mohniya karma. Among all the subtypes of Mohniya karma we should be very still more careful about bondage of Anantanubadhi kashay Mohniya karmas (this does not means that other subtypes are acceptable.).

Anantanubadhi kashay Mohniya karmas are accumulated not only when our passions (anger, ego, deceit, and greed) are sever while carrying out our actions but also if we do not repent for our actions within one year of accumulating them. This Anantanubadhi kashay Mohniya karmas obstructs right conduct (and indirectly right belief) which are necessary ingredients to start the beginning of spiritual uplift which would ultimately lead to liberation. As a human we are able to recognize this fact better than other living beings and therefore we shall take advantage of knowing this secret to put us to advantageous level. So by truly repenting and asking for forgiveness ("Michchhami Dukkadam") we avoid accumulating this Anantanubadhi kashay Mohniya karmas.

Earlier discussion explained how "Michchhami Dukkadam" can affect the type of nature of karmas, but there is also another reason to say "Michchhami Dukkadam". The physical bondage of karmas can be loose (sithil), tight (gadha), tighter (nidhatta), and tightest (nikachit).

The loose, tight bondage can easily be shed off by repenting and apologizing for our deeds, which caused them. The moderate bondage can be shed off by austerity while sever bondage can be only shed off by suffering the results of those karmas. Now going back to think what happens before we say "Michchhami Dukkadam", first we have to realize that we have or might have done some harms to others and secondly we regret or feel sorry for doing so and thirdly we want to apologize for the same. So these repenting and expressing apology by saying "Michchhami Dukkadam" we are doing introspection of our actions and saying to ourselves that I was wrong or my actions were wrong and rather than making it a prestige issue, we are letting our ego go and we are saying I made a mistake and thus our passions become less and that helps us to get rid off the bondage of some of our loose or tight karmas ahead of time.

What goes along with friendship?

When we let go our ego and ask for forgiveness we are also sending signal that I am changing and I want to be friend of everybody. That brings to some contemplation about friendship and they are:

1) Maitri Bhavana (Thinking of being a Friend)
2) Pramod Bhavana (Thinking of Appreciation)
3) Karuna Bhavana (Thinking of Compassion)
4) Madhyastha Bhavana (Think to staying neutral or uninvolved)

Let us understand how these bhavanas play important roles in our lives, how they can keep us away from bad karmas, and ultimately how they can improve our overall chances to uplift our souls.

1. Maitri Bhavana (Thinking of a Friendship)

Jinas had taught us, "We must be a friend to all living beings." The feeling of friendship brings love and respect for others. It, also, initiates a feeling of brotherhood among all and in turn leaves no room for harm, deceit or quarrelsomeness with anybody. If we contemplate on Maitri Bhavana our thoughts, words, and actions will not be harsh, and we will not hurt anybody. On the contrary, we will support and protect everybody. Friendship will lead us to be tolerant, forgiving, and caring for one another. Therefore by developing a friendship with all living beings, we will avoid bad karma.

2. Pramod Bhavana (Thinking of Appreciation)

In this bhavana, we admire the success of our friends, spiritual leaders and Arihants. One of the most destructive forces in our lives is jealousy. However, friendship combined by admiration, leaves no place (destroys) jealousy. As jealousy subsides or is gone, negative impulses are turned into positive ones, and in time, you will be at peace.

3. Karuna Bhavana (Thinking of Compassion)

Instead of succeeding, many of our friends may be getting into trouble for things they should not be doing, and even those who are successful may be accumulating vices such as greed and ego. If such is the case then, they are not on the right path, and may be they are weak, helpless, and in distress. At a time like this, you should contemplate on the Karuna Bhavana and show compassion towards them instead of being disgusted towards them or hating them. Show them a right path with patience, tolerance, and forgiveness and offer them the needed support. In this way, not only will you be avoiding bad karma, but also will your friends.

4. Madhyastha Bhavana (Think of staying neutral or uninvolved)

Life appears to be nothing but involvement. Sometimes life works out favourable and sometimes it does not. So when after a few attempts the things do not workout or people around us do not change, then instead of getting disappointed, angry, or more involved, we should contemplate on Madhyastha Bhavana. This contemplation leads to the feeling that if someone does not want to understand then leave him/her alone without getting further involved. You will still hope that one of these days he/she may understand and change. By observing Madhyastha Bhavana, you will remain in equanimity, instead of provoking turmoil in your mind. When your mind stays neutral and uninvolved it keeps karma away.

In short, you can avoid influx of bad karma and stay in peace while living in worldly life by developing a friendship towards all living beings, admiring their success, holding their hands when they are in distress, and leaving them alone at times when they do not want to understand what is right or wrong.

So, until it becomes the natural way of life to observe the above bhavanas, one should contemplate on:


as many times as needed.
If there is a goal, then there will be an achievement.

Dr. Premchand Gada, Jainworld.com
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  1. Anger
  2. Arihants
  3. Bhavana
  4. Bhavanas
  5. Contemplation
  6. Deceit
  7. Equanimity
  8. Greed
  9. Jainworld
  10. Jiva
  11. Karma
  12. Karmas
  13. Karuna
  14. Karuna Bhavana
  15. Kashay
  16. Madhyastha Bhavana
  17. Maitri
  18. Maitri Bhavana
  19. Mohniya
  20. Mohniya Karma
  21. Nikachit
  22. Pramod Bhavana
  23. Pratikraman
  24. Samvatsari
  25. Soul
  26. Tolerance
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